The Green Smoothie Challenge

The Green Smoothie Challenge
Lose Weight and Feel Great!

The Green Smoothie Challenge

Kick start your heatlhy lifestyle with The Green Smoothie Challenge! I have created this cleanse as a way for you to refresh and rejuvenate. Many people find that they lose a lot of weight, increase their energy levels and improve their health. So, come join the fun at my new Web site
Get your friends to do it with you. This makes it so much easier!

Friday, August 29, 2008

An Answer to Cancer

I just wanted to let you know about an interesting article that my sister pointed me to. It is in the Costco Connection Magazine this month. It is called, "An Answer to Cancer." It is written by a neuro psychiatrist who has fought cancer twice. He talks about how we are all born with cancer cells and that it is our job to make sure those cells do not become cancerous tumors. He says our bodies have a natural capacity to protect against cancer. He says it is possible to keep the cancer cells from becoming life threatening tumors with some simple changes. I wholeheartedly agree with all of these statements. It is simple to be healthy, but may not seem easy to make the necessary changes. One question I am asked a lot is, "Isn't it expensive to eat healthy?" Well, let me ask you this, would you rather spend the money now to stay healthy or would you like to get a disease and pay the medical expenses and experience the disabilities of the disease? In my opinion, you WILL pay one way or another. I am a big believer in having a garden, which will really cut down on costs.
Here is the link to the article...
You have to click on "contents" at the top of the page and the article is called "Anti-Cancer" on page 37.
Thank you, Gina, for telling me about it!!

Go Easy on Yourself

It has been said that eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. I believe that to be true. I think that is why we all struggle with eating well, because eating not so well is just so much fun!! One thing I have struggled with and I hear so many people struggle with is being mad at myself when I "pig out" or just go a week of eating a lot of junk. I have really had to work on not beating myself up over my lack of discipline. I thought I would share some of what I have learned.

According to Steven R. Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "Good families, even great families, are off track 90% of the time! The key is that they have a sense of destination. They know what the "track" looks like. And they keep coming back to it time and time again."

He says that when a plane is flying, they have a flight plan, but due to bad weather, turbulence, etc... the plane is not even on the prescribed flight path most of the time!! The key is that the pilot knows exactly where he is going, and in the end, he arrives at the proper destination.

It was so freeing for me to hear that it is NORMAL to be off track and trying to get back on track 90% of the time. I thought it was just me that was not 100% organized, disciplined, nice, etc... on a regular basis! Once I found out I was normal:) I was so much more free to mess up and then say, OK, so what, I messed up or I cheated or I just simply had a little more fun than I would like to have had. I'm normal (whatever that means), now I am going to get back on track. At that point I usually have to force myself to go to the gym and eat really well for 1 or 2 days and then I experience the postive impact of feeling so good that I am right back on that track to health.

I also have taught myself to step on the scale after a big weekend or week of not eating as well as I'd like so that I have some feedback about what the "damages" were. I used to just get mad and eat more because I had already ruined it anyway. I learned the "feedback technique" from an e-book called, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. It was brilliant. Messing up just gives you feedback and then you are free to decide if you want more of the same feedback or not and you can make any necessary adjustments as needed. A big part of eating healthy for me is that it makes such an enormous difference in my overall feeling of well being. I actually need more sleep when I don't eat well. I am less motivated. It can make me moody and those things all affect not just me, but my entire family. I think if you are only eating healthy to lose weight or look good, it is a lot more difficult to stay on track. Sheer will power usually fails. There really needs to be a greater motivation than weight loss, unless you are really motivated by that.

Set goals. Set weekly goals and monthly goals and a long term goal and tell yourself, when you fail the first time to achieve that goal, "OK, this is feedback." How can I change some things to do better next time? Don't beat yourself up. It only makes the attaining of a goal that much more difficult!! You cannot change the past, you can only make changes to make the future better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

21 Day Challenge

Would you like to join in the 21 day challenge? If so, comment below to join and I will add you to my list. I am thinking of beginning Monday, August 25 or Monday, September 8th. It will be a challenge to give up what tempts you and holds you back the most from experiencing health and wellness. For me, that means, coffee, sugar and wine. Those are my three downfalls and I would love to know what might happen if I gave them up for 21 days. I have heard that it takes three weeks to form a habit, so I am hoping to form a habit away from those three things so that I can have an easier time with moderation of them at the end of 21 days. I also want to know what the discipline of doing that will do to me mentally. I am going to add daily chlorophyll, enzymes and sprouts as well as a fresh juice daily to my regimen and just see what happens. Let me know if you would like to join me.

Keeping it Simple, the KISS principle

KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. We like to complicatet things sometimes, but eating well and taking care of ourselves does not have to be so difficult. So, all you busy people who want to eat healthy and be wellthy, but don't have a lot of time or don't want to put a lot of time into can you eat healthy? Here is my simple plan for eating well. I start my day with a workout. You can check out the book called The New Power Program to see what I do. I stick to the first cycle so far b/c it is only 4 days a week for an hour plus some stretching. You can move to different cycles and take time off too during the year. I kind of customized to fit my life. I also do about 40 minutes of some sort of cardio about 5 times a week. I like to power walk after dinner if I can fit it in. I really try not to ever feel bad when I miss a work out or can't fit in everything. I am a mom and wife first and the exercising is a big priority, but especially in the summer, I just have to do my best.

Anyway, after I wake up I usually eat a few soaked nuts (soaked in pure water overnight, explaination to come later) and some prunes or a few bites of yogurt. Then I work out for about 2 hours, very early:) , drinking A LOT of pure water and then I come home and have a good strong cup of coffee and a protein smoothie. See my daily smoothie recipe in previous blog. A couple hours later I eat a piece of sprouted grain toast such as Ezekiel 4:9 brand from Trader Joe's with some raw almond butter and a bit of fruit only jelly. You could also do a hard boiled egg with some fresh sliced veggies or toast with half an avocado and some tomato and sprouts with a little sea salt and pepper or some hot sauce on it. Then about 2 or 3 hours later I may have a peice of fruit and some soaked nuts, a salad with 4 oz. of lean protein or even another protein shake or just some protein powder in rice milk or nut milk which is made of 1 cup soaked nuts, 2 cups water and some pure maple syrup, blended very well in blender and run through a cheese cloth to remove the pulp from the nuts. For dinner I will have steamed veggies or a salad with 4 oz. of lean protein and possibly a couple glasses of wine, followed by a power walk if I feel like it. Another favorite snack of mine is some hummus with sliced veggies. I make some sprouted crackers in my dehydrator that are a great snack as well. I try to have things I can grab or make easily. I usually make a HUGE salad for lunch or dinner and do not put dressing on it and then I can save it and use it for lunches the next day, dinner etc.. and I don't have to spend so much time chopping veggies for every meal. My normal eating is really that simple. I do like a couple squares of sugar free dark, dark chocolate in the afternoon too. I get it at Trader Joe's. It's the low carb one, but I am not sure of the brand. It is sweetened with Maltotol.

If I gain 5 pounds because I have been doing a lot of "fun" eating, I do a fast. That way I can have fun when I want and know that I can get rid of unwanted toxins and weight very easily and quickly and make my body very happy and able to keep doing it's job of regeneration.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Too Busy to Eat Healthy?

If you answered "yes" to this question, maybe the better question is...Are you just too busy? The Pew Research Center did a survey about junk food and why people eat it and 73% of the respondents said that it is because of convenience. 44% said it's because it's yummy and 37% said it's because of heavy advertising. 24% say it's a matter of affordability and 14% say it's because of ignorance on eating healthy. I was surprised that only 14% answered that it was because they simply did not know how to eat healthy.

I think a lot of people would eat healthier if they realized what junk food was doing to their body. Look around you at how many people you know that have cancer, stroke, heart disease. It does not have to be this way. We cannot prevent everything, but we can sure make a big difference if we take care of ourselves. Think of how much more complex we are than a car, and if you put the wrong stuff in a car, it will not run. Why do we take better care of our cars than we do our bodies?

It is an obligation of parents to instill healthy eating habits into their children, but that is difficult if you were not raised that way and do not really know how to do it. It does take a lot of effort to sort through all of those books and figure out what healthy eating really means. I like the KISS principle...Keep It Simple Stupid!!! If eating healthy means living in the kitchen, then most people will not be able to do it. It is my goal to make this a simple thing. It may not be easy, but it is pretty simple to eat foods in the form that God gave them to us. When you eat, stop and this God made or man made? Chances are that if it is man made, comes in a box, can or bag, it is not the best choice. It may not be easy to stop eating processed foods and refined sugar, but it is simple!!

Once you start putting a lot of sprouted and green food into your body, you will not crave the other things as much. I never make my kids finish all of their food on their plate because I want them to realize when they are full. What I DO make them finish is anything green or grown in the ground on their plate because I think the broccoli, the lettuce, the sprouts, the salad veggies, etc... are very important to their health. I often talk to them about having self control about what they put into their bodies because our bodies can only get rid of so much junk. Once that junk begins to pile up inside of us, disease WILL take over in one form or another.

As far as affordability, it does not cost a whole lot to plant some fresh lettuces and vegetables and sprouting things is very simple and economical, so these are two ways to keep healthy eating costs to a minimum. Also, CSA (community supported agriculture) is a way to support local farms and eat organically grown fruits, veggies and meats at a much lower cost.

Azure Standard is another great resource for whole foods at a discount as well as Trader Joe's.

Another thought is that if you eat less, you will save on your food bill. The more nutritious your food, the less of it you will need. You will save at the doctor as well!!

Again, if you answered "yes" to being too busy to eat healthy, maybe you are just too busy in general and can simplify in other areas of your life in order to have the time to feed yourself and your family healthfully.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Soak Your Nuts!!!

Do you love to eat nuts as much as I do? Maybe you have heard that they are good for you. Yes, they are fattening, so too many nuts is not necessarily good. They also contain protein, but in order to access the protein you actually need to soak the nuts. This only works with raw nuts. I do not recommend eating roasted nuts for health. I like to put a handful or two of nuts in purified water overnight and then I have soaked nuts for the next day. You can soak more and just pour off the soaking water and rinse them and then add more water and refrigerate them for up to three days. I like to put these on my salad for lunch instead of meat. I make a yummy viniagrette from olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar and sea salt and pepper. I use half an avocado, and some sprouts and you can't get much healthier than for lunch.

Anyway, back to why you need to soak your nuts for maximum nutrition...seeds, beans, grains and nuts contain something called enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme inhibitors block the body's absorption of the enzymes/proteins. The purpose of these inhibitors is to prevent premature germination. When you plant a seed, it needs water to germinate. Once the seed germinates, all of the nutrients in the seed become available for the plant that begins to grow. It is the same with nuts and seeds that we eat, the nutrients are not actually available to the body unless the nuts and seeds have begun to germinate. Enzymes are one of the most important foods for us to eat. I will do a blog entry on them a little later. For now, soak your nuts! Make sure you use good water, not tap water. If your water has chemicals such as chlorine, your nuts will become toxic!! Always pour your soaking water off the nuts and rinse them. I believe the enzyme inhibitors are in the soaking water, anyway, don't use the water!! I would avoid peanuts, but almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts are all great!

Daily Smoothie

I like to start my day with a smoothie. It's a great way to get lots of low glycemic berries into your diet and a great way to feed those muscles. Here's what I put in mine...
1 cup of purified water
A few TBS. of cranberry juice (not concentrate, Trader Joe's makes 100% cranberry juice)
1 cup of berries, like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc...
1 TBS. ground flax seeds, cold milled, not toasted, just raw
1 TBS. lecithin granules
1 TBS. Nutritional Yeast
2 scoops KAL stevia
1 scoop Bioplex 100% Whey Protein Isolate, unsweetened
A big helping of spinach
6 Spirulina tablets (I just drink these, I don't put them in the smoothie)!!

Blend and enjoy!!

Eat More, Lose Weight! Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is made up of a complex network of enzymes and hormones that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel. The work of the metablolism determines how quickly, or slowly, we burn our calories. The rate of metabolism varies from person to person.

The best analogy that I have heard about the metabolism is that it is like a burning fire inside of us. Our food fuels our metabolism and our metabolism converts food to fuel for our body. It is like a fire because when we give it food, like wood for a fire, it burns and when we do not give it food it's flame begins to die and it barely burns. In order to keep a fire going, we keep putting wood on the fire. In order to keep our metabolism going strong, we must feed ourselves often. Some people go without breakfast, then eat a little snack at some point and are "starving" by dinner and pig out and then eat dessert.

Well, because they have not kept the flame going, the fire is not burning effeciently and then a lot of calories are put into the body and they are not burned off very quickly. It's like putting wet wood on a barely burning fire. On the other hand, if you eat a small breakfast, say a whole fruit, non sugar smoothie with protein, then a small snack a couple of hours later, like a hard boiled egg with some fresh veggies, then a nice big green salad with fresh veggies and 4 oz. of lean protein, then a couple of hours later, you eat an apple and some raw nuts or seeds and then for dinner you eat a big helping of lightly steamed veggies and some lean protein, you have kept the fire burning all day and besides that, since you have put such good fuel into your body, you will be lean and full of energy. Imagine if you put lard into your car instead of oil and diesel instead of regular. How long would it be before your car told you you were using the wrong kind of fuel? Our bodies will take a much longer time to peter out, but eventually, if you do not put the right kinds of food in, and often enough, you willl suffer the consequences.

Some people really try to lose weight by eating less, but because by doing this they are slowing their rate of metabolism, it will not work. It is not just eating often that will do the trick either, it is eating the right kinds of foods often that make it all work properly.

Another thing to take into consideration is that the leaner you are and the higher your muscle mass, the higher your rate of metabolism will be. Just having muscle burns calories. So many people just do their cardio, which is very important, but that mostly burns calories just while you are doing it. If you build muscle, you burn while you lift weights and you burn all day long. So, doing both is so important. Two books I recommend to learn more about how to do this are The New Power Program, by Dr. Michael Colgan. I am using his approach and I have never felt stronger and been more toned in my life. I have only done his first cycle, of which there are three. The first cycle requires 4 days a week for one hour. He also teaches you how to stretch properly. Then I do 30 to 40 minutes on the elyptical, treadmill or I run outside or do some cycling. I really enjoy power walking as well, so I just do whatever I am in the mood for! Paul Chek has a great book called Eat, Move and Be Healthy. I have not read the whole thing, but Michael Colgan really likes his work, so I am trying to read that one now.

Oh, and one more thing...if you want to get very lean, add a 30 min. to 1 hour power walk in after dinner. I like to put the kids on their bikes and my 3 year old in the stroller and we all go out for some exercise and we get to spend time together that way. If you do two cardio sessions in a day, you will really increase your metabolism and get lean!! This is way too much for most moms, so one cardio session is what I mostly do and it works great.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Matthew 16:24-25

"Then Jesus said to His Disciples, 'If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it."

Maybe we have been trying to "save" our life(s). I am not sure. It is becoming apparent, though, after 2 1/2 years of SERIOUS trials, that maybe we have been doing just that and now God is litterally yanking parts of our lives away. Some days I literally feel that pain of parts of me being yanked away. I cry, and I cry a lot because it hurts, it is scary and I am not totally sure I am ready. But then, as a storm comes in, it also goes out and the calm comes. The verse, "when I am weak, then I am strong" comes to life and it feels like I get scooped up in HIS arms after my days of deep despair and He gives me His strength and I get stronger. I see all the good that is happening to me. I feel the growing pains and then I see the growth. It's funny that being pruned, being made smaller, makes you bigger. Being cut down, results in the bountiful bearing of fruit. Sometimes a plant must be stripped down to nothing when the pruning job is big. I think the pruning job on me is very big. At the same time, I am really seeing big change. God is so faithful to transform us.

I want to share a little of how He has done this in our life over the last two and half years because maybe my story will encourage one person and if that happens, then it was worth it to write.

It all started with the birth of our fourth child. I have come to beleive that every person has a number of children that becomes their breaking point in a sense. The number that makes them say, this is all I can do. Usually it is with child number 3, 4 or 5 that this happens. I was homeschooling when my 4th was born and 4 kids was my breaking point. Every time we got in the car, she screamed. Whenever I was making dinner, trying to help kids with homework and getting ready for hubby to come home, she screamed. I tried having her on my back, she didn't like it. It was a really stressful time and my husband was gone 12 - 14 hours a day. From the time she was 6 months until she was about 18 months, our stress level went higher than it had ever gone. We put the kids in school which helped, but still having two little ones at home and one that was a "consider it pure joy child", made it the most difficult year we had ever known. About the time our little sweetie turned 18 months, my husband's dad very suddenly passed away. It was out of the blue, he was 65. It was such a shock, as sudden death always is. Just as life seemed to be getting back on track, 6 weeks after Tobin's father died, my dad had a massive stroke that has left him unable to communicate to this day. At first, the doctors did not think he would make it and my family and I spent a week in intensive care just praying for God to save him. Our dads were the first things ripped suddenly out of our lives. Up until then, I must admit, we were both still pretty dependant on our families for support, advice and acceptance. Our dads were both a huge part of our lives.

These two experiences changed our perspective on life a lot. Max turned 10 and it opened our eyes to the fact that our children were growing up without Daddy. We saw that life was short. My husband decided to resign from Starbucks corporate after 8 years. He started his own mortgage business, Vintage Park Funding. That went very well for a while and then the mortgage industry and the economy turned upside down. Very soon after he started his business, we put our home on the market, it is still for sale. We registered the kids in school an hour and half from our house, thinking the place would sell. It didn't. My husband and kids commuted an hour and half each way to school last year. His business has gotten to the point where we are not making ends meet. He is now looking at a job at the kid's school as the development director.

At this point we are literally selling all of our earthly possessions to get by until he gets a job. I am studying to become a personal trainer so that if I must work, I can help people in a way that is very satisfying for me. I had to cancel my hair appointment. I love to have my hair look great. Giving that up, as silly as it sounds, was a huge thing for me. I sold my Louis Vuitton purse and wallet today. Tobin has sold a lot of his hunting gear including two duck boats. I have furniture on Craigslist. My bike is being sold. Everything we love is going. I cried so hard yesterday I thought I would die of hyperventilation. Then today, I woke up so happy. I feel free. My cell phone is even cancelled. I actually LOVE not spending a lot of time talking about pretty much nothing!!! I do still have my $30 per month gym membership, which I just pray I can keep, but I am even ready to do away with that if I must. The amazing thing is that I learning to be resourceful. I can now stretch a meal so far, I can serve company a dinner made of leftovers!!! These are huge learnings for me as I came from much abundance. Where we both grew up, we never really experienced the "making do" mentality. Today, as I adventured through the farmer's market with my girls and then the Grocery Outlet, I felt so happy and free to be finding ways to spend so much less money on groceries. God is so good to force us into learning things that we really would never learn any other way. I love to be HIS child and I love that He cares so much for us that He is willing to prune us down to nothing in order to transform us into His image. He is an amazing God. May we daily be able to sing, "When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 'It is well, It is well with my soul."!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sophia's Famous Granola

Sophia, my daughter, and I were making granola one day and we were talking and I really messed up the recipe. So, we just started adding things and experimenting and it was really good, so, Sophia's Famous Granola was born!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

8 cups oats, not instant
¾ cup Canola oil
Cinnamon, enough to cover bowl
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Agave Nectar
2 TBS Stevia Plus, or five small scoops of KAL stevia. It will be bitter if you use too much!
2 tsp Vanilla
5 TBS Vanilla Whey Protein Powder or plain
After cooking, add:
½ cup almond meal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup coconut
1 cup walnuts
2 cups puffed grain cereal (optional)
1 cup chopped cashews
Real Salt or sea salt, Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt to taste
Dehydrated sprouts 1 - 2 cups (optional) I use dehydrated buckwheat sprouts
Raw, ground flax seeds ½ - 1 cup

Put oats in a large mixing bowl. Pour in oil, honey, agave nectar, stevia, vanilla and protein powder. Mix well with hands. Spread ingredients out on two cookie sheets. Place in 350 degree oven. Stir granola every ten minutes until done, about ½ hour.

Let cool, then add nuts, puffed grains and coconut, etc... Store in airtight container in pantry.